The release of genetically modified (GM) plants and exotic organisms for the purpose of biological crop protection can imply environmental risks. Unintended effects on non-target organisms can alter biodiversity and adversely affect ecological processes such as biological control. We are conducting research on potential effects on non-target organisms, develop concepts for long-term observation of environmental effects and assess the risk of new technologies in agriculture.
Our specific aims are:
1. to develop methods which can be used to study detrimental effects on non-target organisms and ecological processes
2. to evaluate and assess these effects on non-target organisms
3. to develop concepts for monitoring biodiversity effects of GM plants
4. to make our data and information available to interested parties (e.g. the Federal Office for Agriculture and the Federal Office for Environment)
Chances and risks of GE plants
Genetically engineered plants are grown on ever increasing areas worldwide. We investigate potential ecological consequences and benefits for agriculture. Our research focuses on beneficial arthropods.
Benefits and ecological risks of macroorganisms in plant protection
Biological control of pests in agriculture includes the use of parasitoids and predators. We investigate potential ecological risks of new biocontrol agents and their benefit for sustainable agriculture.